Crime and Punishment: Pevear & Volokhonsky Translation (Vintage Classics) (英語) ペーパーバック – 1993/3/2
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With the same suppleness, energy, and range of voices that won their translation of The Brothers Karamazov the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Prize, Pevear and Volokhonsky offer a brilliant translation of Dostoevsky's classic novel that presents a clear insight into this astounding psychological thriller. "The best (translation) currently available"--Washington Post Book World.
A desperate young man plans the perfect crime -- the murder of a despicable pawnbroker, an old women no one loves and no one will mourn. Is it not just, he reasons, for a man of genius to commit such a crime, to transgress moral law -- if it will ultimately benefit humanity? So begins one of the greatest novels ever written: a powerful psychological study, a terrifying murder mystery, a fascinating detective thriller infused with philosophical, religious and social commentary. Raskolnikov, an impoverished student living in a garret in the gloomy slums of St. Petersburg, carries out his grotesque scheme and plunges into a hell of persecution, madness and terror. Crime And Punishment takes the reader on a journey into the darkest recesses of the criminal and depraved mind, and exposes the soul of a man possessed by both good and evil ... a man who cannot escape his own conscience.
It is safe to say that Marmeladov is the most unique drunkard that literature has ever produced. He likes to drink from grief and to weep. And if he does put on airs, it’s not because he’s gloating; he only wants to raise a ruckus. He’ll always recall some past insult and hurl reproaches at the one who insulted him, whether that person is present or not. He may brazenly insist that he’s the next thing to a general; he’ll swear like a trooper if you don’t believe him.
Yet the reason he presents such an ugly spectacle is that in the depths of his drunken soul he knows very well that he’s not a general but only a vile drunkard who has sunk to a level lower than any animal.
According to Marmeladov, the one who will take pity on me is him that hath pity for all men and whose wisdom passeth all understanding, he alone, he is our judge. And when he is done with all of them, he will raise up his voice to us, saying unto us; “Come out, ye drunkards, come out, O ye that are weak, come out, ye that live in shame!” And we shall come out, and shall not be ashamed and shall stand before him. And he will say unto us, “Ye are as swine! Made in the image of the Beast, and marked with his brand; but come ye also!” And the wise and learned will raise up their voices, saying: “Lord! Why dost thou receive them?” And he will say unto them: “Because they none of them believed themselves worthy of it…”
For example, we would not kill this person or that person because we think that he is useless for the society. But how many of us would not ever think that this person or that should be killed as useless? What is the difference between killing him and thinking that he should be killed?
Maybe there are some people who claim that they have never thought of such a horrible thing. But even such people must have once or twice thought that they are superior to this person or that, even if they don’t think that he should be killed. If there is anyone who claims that he has never thought of even such a thing, he is perhaps superhuman. I think Dostoevsky described the mental inclination everyone cannot escape in a very exaggerated and sensational style(Contrary to popular belief, he is a very sensational, not a realistic, writer).
Dostoevsky seems to say, “Before all things humble yourself, consider how great a mass of meanness and pettiness and turpitude lies lurking at the bottom of your soul. Set your viewpoint in that you are not superior to anyone, and take your action”, and he seems to warn everyone that once he feels superiority over anybody else, he is bound to go in the wrong way.
This restraint which appears to be a little too strict is occasioned by the fact that Dostoevsky himself was tormented by his inability to control his conceit. In fact, Dostoevsky was a man who could not conceal his triumph over young writers whose entry had been of a more modest order, and who through his captiousness and his tone of overweening pride showed that he considered himself to be immeasurably superior to all companions. The extraordinary singularity of this novel accounts for his too high sense of conceit, because the stronger the sense is, the stronger restraint on it is supposed to be required.